Updated on June 17, 2015
A Few Steps Closer to a Healthier HiFi
By Ailene Ignacio
This summer, with the encouragement of our FRESH Space youth, APIOPA has begun our FRESH Space Summer Program. The intent of the 4-week program is to engage local residents, especially high school students, to be more proactive about changing their local neighborhood so that healthy food options aren’t a rare site to see. But before we could make the argument that food justice work is even necessary in their community, the youth decided that there needed to be evidence supporting the claim that Historic Filipinotown is a food desert and in need of healthy food access projects, such as APIOPA’s Fresh HiFi – corner store transformation – project. So our FRESH Space Summer team took it to the streets!
For three days, we walked along the main corridors and several side streets of Historic Filipinotown, Los Angeles. The team documented what they had seen through snapping photographs, taking personal notes, and collecting various flyers, brochures, and business cards. In addition, the team also took specific actions for food retail spaces, which included documenting which food retail stores sold fresh produce and identifying healthier menu options available in local restaurants. Second, after all the data had been collected, the youth began inputting all their information onto an online map via a website called HealthyCity. As this is still a work in progress, we are looking forward to sharing the trends of our mapping efforts, as well as the actual HealthyCity map, with you soon. Moreover, once finalized, the youth are looking to use this data to inform and inspire key stakeholders, including Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell’s office, to invest in healthy changes for the community by the end of the summer!